A testimony from Cambodia

Christ healing the paralytic at Capernaum by Bernhard Rode 1780.

I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.

When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, Son, be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven you.

Romans 1:16; Matthew 9:2.

Recruited by the Red Khmer at the age of seventeen, Bao was totally traumatised by the war. He saw his best friends being killed. One day his unit captured an enemy soldier and asked him if he had a last wish. The prisoner did not ask for a cigarette, as most do, but rather that someone should read to him a passage from the book he had in his pocket. Bao started reading loudly, “Jesus said, …”, but he got no further, being interrupted by thunderous noise. An enemy helicopter was attacking them. In the confusion that followed the prisoner escaped. The next day Bao asked the leader of his unit, “What did Jesus say?” The latter looked at him bewildered. Bao continued, “Listen. It must have been something important for that fellow to want to hear it before dying.” His superior became angry and told Bao that he would report him to the political commissioner. Bae knew that he would then be in serious trouble. But on that day his troop was attacked, and Bao was the sole survivor.

He remained a soldier for a further four years. Every day he wondered what Jesus had said. Eventually he found a Bible. Bao testified: “I finally succeeded in reading what Jesus said and decided that I, too, would like to die hearing such words.” And he added, “God wished to save me. He spared me, so that I could hear what Jesus said”. The message that Jesus has is one of life and it applies to each one of us.

Image: By Bernhard Rode – Self-photographed, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5782664